Coaxial Cable Installation

Lead Image
  • 2-40 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 100
What You'll Need
Wire cutters
Electric drill
Drill bit
Coax stripper
Coax crimper-connector
Coax connectors
Coax receptacle covers
Keyhole saw

For homeowners who plan are planning cable installation in multiple receptacle locations, it is possible to do these installations, yourself. You can, in fact, reduce your installation costs by installing this cable. With the right tools, materials, and instruction, you should be able to do the job in a weekend and save yourself the cost of paying a cable installer.

Step 1 - Estimate Needed Cable

Decide in advance where you'll want your TV outlets, then estimate the distance from your main coax terminal to your room in which you'll install your receptacles. If your terminal is in your basement, and if you plan to run your new cables up through the floor and into the rooms where you receptacles will be installed, be sure to include measurements between the floor and receptacle. In adding all the cable lengths, include an additional 10 percent. Also add about two feet of cable for each outlet. You'll need this additional cable for connectors. When you have all these figures, you can then purchase your cable and hardware at a home improvement center.

Step 2 - Install Wall and Floor Openings

coaxial cable

If you plan to install your cable inside the wall on which you will install your receptacle, and if you plan to use flush receptacles, you should make your openings in the wall and in the floor below the wall. Plan to use an electric drill and a long wood bit at least one inch in diameter and 15" to 18" long. You'll likely need to drill through two inch floor plate. Use a keyhole saw to cut a piece out of the drywall to fit your flush receptacle in. If you plan to install your cable on the wall surface you won't need to drill into the wall interior, and you'll need surface mount receptacles instead of flush receptacles.

Step 3 - Attic Cable Installation

In an installation where your coax terminal is in the attic the ideal way to install cable to your wall receptacles would be down through the center of your walls. But, typically, there are fire plates installed in this space, preventing you from dropping cables down through these wall spaces. The only feasible alternative is to run the cables down the surface of the wall and use surface type receptacles to which you can connect your cable.

Step 4 - Basement Cable Installation

cluster of coaxial cables

From the main terminal in your basement, run your cable along the ceiling and through holes you've drilled in your ceiling joists. At the point where you want to run your cable up to a wall receptacle, you can either go up the outside surface of the wall and use surface receptacles, or go up through the hollow center of the wall and use flush receptacles.

Step 5 - Collect Cable Ends to Receptacles

Label both ends of each coaxial cable as you install it. Use either room names or numbers to label these cables. This allows you to identify each cable and the receptacle it connects to. Finally, attach connectors to your far cable ends, and connect near cable ends to your cable terminal.